Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas 2006 - Part the First - OR - Burning issues (in which the Wrathful One learns a new lesson)

With my usual w00t planning skilz, I left it until Christmas Eve to buy firelogs. Truthfully, I always save one or two little errands to the last minute. Just small purchases. Nothing that the entire Christmas celebration depends upon, just little things that add to the fun and get me out among the excitement of the final hours of prep without leaving me in a state of panic. Because let's face it, when you're prepared and relaxed, watching the unprepared have melt downs is kind of fun in a twisted, not very Christmas spirited kind of way. *ahem* Also, without a few last minute errands, I'd be sitting staring at my perfectly decorated house and tree* just waiting to hear the prancing and pawing of tiny hoofies on the roof that signal the arrival of SC, he of the frighteningly high BMI. Very boring.

So, picture it... Christmas Eve, 4:45 p.m., store closings are at 5:00, and I have one last item to procure - firelogs for the traditional Christmas morning "not terrifically heat-generating but totally maintenance-free" blaze. I was in my local Canuck Tyre and found one, sorry, sodden box of 6 logs on a pallet just inside the front door - the big double, automatic, operated-by-an-electric-eye kind of door that opens very wide every time someone approaches it. We'd had a very heavy rain storm the day before and I guess every time a customer entered, the rain hit the boxes on the pallet. So, naturally I didn't buy that box. Almost giving up on the idea of having logs for Christmas, I was overjoyed to discover two boxes in a shopping cart near the front of the store. They seemed dry enough, so I bought one. What could go wrong?

On Christmas morning, I lit a log, which doesn't mean the same thing as it would if a certain duck wrote that. The instructions on the side of the log say it will reach full flame in five minutes and burn for three hours...

One hour later, the log was still limping along, flame-wise, and looking very unenthusiastic about the concept of bursting into full flame. Six hours later, it was more or less burning steadily, if still somewhat subdued. Methinks they were still a tad damp after all. So the downside was the Christmas morning present opening didn't have its usual cheery fire in the fireplace, but the upside was there was a fire, more or less, burning most of the day that didn't required any tending. So that was nice.

They weren't terribly damp, it turns out. The next day, I popped another firelog into the fireplace, lit it and within the promised five minutes it was roaring merrily away and within 3 hours it had burnt itself out. All they needed was one day out of the box at room temperature. So, the lesson learned from this is that the firelogs can't be one of the last minute items.

Stay tuned for Christmas 2006 - Part the Second or Boot Scootin' Boogie

*HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... that is all I'll say about that.


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